Mass shooting sends shockwaves through Half Moon Bay community

Posted at 6:12 PM, Jan 24, 2023

The 2023 Lunar New Year of the rabbit is supposed to be a year of peace and prosperity, but so far, the state of California has experienced the opposite.

Less than 48 hours after the mass shooting in Monterey Park, seven more people lost their lives in a shooting south of San Francisco.

Half Moon Bay is a small coastal city with about 11,000 people. People who live in Half Moon Bay say it's a very relaxed tight-knit community.

"I didn't expect this was going to happen. It was just a normal day," said Tom Miller. "People here are very kind, and it's just a very welcoming place."

According to the United Farm Workers union, the seven people who were killed were farm workers. The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office says some of the victims were Hispanic, and others were of Asian descent.

The killings set shockwaves through the community, including at the Happy Taco Taqueria, a Mexican restaurant locals say is a staple in the area.

"I feel sad because nothing like this has ever happened here before," Sanchez said in an interview that was translated into English. "Everyone is always happy and helping each other."

Restaurant cook Jose Miguel says his cousin is among the deceased.

"We were good friends," Miguel said in an interview that was also translated into English. "We would share everything, and we were super close."

Miguel says he's having a hard time processing his cousin's death.

"I don't know what to say," he said. "I feel bad and I don't know what I'm going to do because he doesn't have much family here. They're in Mexico and we have very little support."

As the people of Half Moon Bay grapple with the devastation, they all say they want people to move forward with feelings of hope and positivity.

"The message I'd like to send is that God is all around us," Miller said. "He will bring healing to the community and the families and that something good always comes out of something bad."

California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Twitter that he was meeting with victims of the first mass shooting in Monterey Park when he got word of the shooting in Half Moon Bay. He called it "tragedy upon tragedy."